Low Quality Of Life And Depressive Symptoms Connected With Unhealthy Lifestyle

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October is national depression screening month.

Screening for Mental Health offers National Depression Screening Day programs for the military, colleges and universities, community-based organizations and businesses.

Held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) raises awareness and screens people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders.

NDSD is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that provides referral information for treatment. Through the program, more than half a million people each year have been screened for depression since 1991.  Take an anonymous depression screening at www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org

In a  recent Finnish study,  subjects with the worst health habits were also the most depressed. Perhaps not surprising,  lifestyle evaluations in countries with well established public health services provide a baseline for intervention and corrective action.

Health is our birthright. Health care should also be part of any society’s organizing principles if for no other reason than it works.

Abstract

Background: The Lapinlahti 2005 study was carried out to explore cardiovascular disease risk factors, lifestyle and quality of life in Lapinlahti residents in eastern Finland. Our aim was to study the association between lifestyle and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in the community.

Subjects and methods: The present study is based on the baseline data of the followed up (2005–2010) population-based cohort (N = 376, n of males = 184). A trained research nurse measured weight, height, waist circumference and blood pressure. Self-reported HRQoL was measured using a 15D questionnaire. A BDI-21 inventory was used to assess the presence of self-reported depressive symptoms.

Lifestyle factors (nutrition, exercise, smoking and alcohol use) were examined with a structured questionnaire. Each lifestyle item was valued as −1, 0 or 1, depending on how well it corresponded to the recommendations. Based on the index the participants were divided into three lifestyle sum tertiles: I = unhealthy, II = neutral and III = healthy. The age- and sex-adjusted linear trend between the tertiles was tested.

Results: The 15D score had a positive linear relationship with the lifestyle tertiles (P = .0048 for linearity, age- and sex-adjusted). Respectively, self-reported depressive symptoms were less frequent among subjects with a healthier lifestyle (P = .038).

Conclusions: People who are expected to strive most to change their lifestyle have the lowest quality of life and psychological welfare, which should be taken into account in both clinical work and health promotion.

Scand J Public Health 1403494813504837, first published on September 18, 2013 as doi:10.1177/1403494813504837.

  1. Jorma Savolainen1,2
  2. Hannu Kautiainen6
  3. Juhani Miettola1
  4. Leo Niskanen3,4
  5. Pekka Mäntyselkä5,6

  1. 1Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

  2. 2Primary Health Care Unit, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland

  3. 3University of Eastern Finland, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Kuopio, Finland

  4. 4Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea

  5. 5Institute of Clinical Medicine, General Practice, University of Turku, Finland

  6. 6Unit of Primary Health Care, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  1. Jorma Savolainen, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Primary Health Care, School of Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland. E-mail: jorma.savolainen@uef.fi
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